When it comes to raising children, the main questions are – “Is this normal? and “Am I doing it right?” Most people involved with children ask these questions whether it applies to children learning to walk, talk, read, write and how they behave… We want to know if the child is doing it the right way, and in the same time frame, like everyone else in the same age group. We also want to know that parents are doing it the right way and in the best way possible. Money smart parents can boost a child’s chances of beoming financially successful since they are the biggest influencers, financially speaking. But know what to do about an allowance for children is a lot more complicated. There are more than two sides to every coin.
Money is a highly personal issue, and so are your children! They both have to be handled according to individual family values and resources. Parents can count on the school to help teach about money, but school provides children with generic information. In the early grades, money is first taught as a math lesson, by counting and adding the value of coins and making change.
As children grow, most parents become concerned about how children can learn the value of a dollar – i.e., raising financially successful adults. The true value of a dollar is in learning what it takes to make it and how to use it! There is a push to provide financial literacy education. The new role of finance in the school curriculum is integrated in the new core standards that are integrating money and the value of a dollar into the lessons as early as second grade. This is great news for the children that will read “Can I Have Some Money?” kid money books in school, which are based on teaching with the brain in mind.
Parents may feel school is NOT the primary place for children to learn this, because they want to handle it in their own framework. Some families teach children about money by giving them money to handle. My kids’ dentist told me that his simply gives each of children a certain amount of “seed money” to work with, which is not tied to chores or performance. He just wants them to have money and decide what to do with it.
My neighbor Anna gave her children an allowance for doing extra chores . The chores had to be done consistently, on time, to her satisfaction and with a smile. She paid them right away and with an attitude of appreciation. This was fine until the kids were about 10 years old, and the price of the things they wanted skyrocketed. The kids’ motivation to do chores for an allowance went down the drain.
How do kids feel about allowance?
99% of 5th and 6th graders surveyed, said children should earn an allowance for (a) good behavior (b) good grades or (c) doing chores.
These are some of the things to think about, when it comes to allowance for kids, the answers you come up with will be as unique are they are.
Should children get an allowance?
At what age?
How much money should they get?
Do they have to earn it, or is it simply given to them?
Should it be tied to good behavior, good grades or chores?
What if kids are not money motivated, should they get something other than money? What if the family cannot afford to give an allowance to the children?
Is there a difference between allowance and bribery?
Should the kids or the parents decide what to do with the money?
Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money Can I Have Some Money?.
Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It! and Nacho Money. She is the Brooklyn mother of two and is on Facebook and Twitter.